SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Katia Tzarkova

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Katia Tzarkova
Katia Tzarkova
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Thesis title:
"I am Tibetan." Constructing transnational and polyvocal identity through the literary imagination.
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

I am researching contemporary Tibetan literature, focusing particularly on the literature produced in and outside Tibet since 2007-8, just before and after the major uprising inside Tibet. I am interested in the clear articulation and reaffirmation of a national identity that despite geopolitical constraints and forces of dominion, is clearly visible as a unified voice that has been gaining momentum for some time, which has intensified tremendously since the uprisings of 2008. One can clearly see the process of increasing sense of national belonging that is imagined and therefore strongly posited in the various forms of creative production: music, art, and literature.The central medium of the creation, articulation and expression of this transnational and polyvocal Tibetan nationhood is the imagination. What is interesting is that there is a clear communication and mutual accord between the exiled Tibetan ethnic group and that inside occupied Tibet. The force of imagination can therefore be said to be collective and originating from a common awareness, an idea and knowledge of what it means to be Tibetan and what is Tibetan, and is continuously evolving through an imagined belonging to one nation/state that does not exist on any one map - it is not recognizable by established socio-political norms and bodies of authority - yet it is recognizable as it does exists on the map of universal collective consciousness, having created a space in our globalized world through its authenticity and therefore entitled to its own proper name, as any other nation would have had it/has it. Tibetan literature therefore is part of a global literary legacy and also of one that is clearly identifiable by its imagined belonging to a community/nation/state, that of Tibet, it is inherently identifiable as Tibetan.